I have to admit that I have a soft spot for EDM music. Particularly, beats and sounds that are dark and incredibly heavy. Maybe it is the Faustian sense of darkness, with artificial Baconian banging while destroying what is natural, and the Machiavellian kind of rise to power. It triggers something visceral, inviting an overwhelming sense of domination.
Now, here I speak of particular songs or particular sub genres of the EDM world. I don’t have anything in me that desires something of an electrifying stimulating dance tune. So, when I do listen to this kind of music it tends towards shadowy, industrial, very bass heavy songs. One of my favorite bands calls themselves The Glitch Mob, a three-piece that has been together since 2006. Their latest album which came out in 2018 is See Without Eyes.
After all these years, they do not disappoint. Many songs feature guest singers such as Elohim and regular, Swedish vocalist Tula. Somehow, The Glitch Mob manages to maintain the same sound they’ve always had, year after year. Glitch’s musical fingerprint is distinguishable from their peers, and could easily be picked out in a blind test. This may sound like tedium in music, but I find, as with many composers, that not to be the case here.
For whatever reason, they change enough of the elements, maybe surface elements, leaving the foundation intact. They just seem to keep crushing it album after album. Here I would like to examine not the entire album, though it’s all worth listening to, rather I will focus on one song that stands out to me above the rest. This song is called “Interbeing”.
Before I begin zeroing in on the song itself, it’s worthwhile to note that the entire album (standard, not deluxe version, which has remixes of the original’s 11 songs) is a kind of Buddhist-style journey inward. Before anyone sighs and storms off in disgust, I have to point out that the Buddhists discovered much on the interior life, as St. Theresa of Avila would much later, that is legitimate and illuminating for the Christian person today.
That being said, it is my belief not that the Buddhists went too far with the interior life, but that they fail to go far enough. Like Hindu Transcendental Meditation, Buddhist meditation uses physical means to tap into physical consciousness, which can have quite an effect, one that feels nearly transcendent (thus the name “Transcendental” Meditation). Yet, as we know from God’s revelation, we must not dwell in that physical state; rather, we must ask for God’s Grace to take us into His heart where we might be deified.
So, from the song titles in See Without Eyes a journey is evident: “Enter Formless”, “Take Me With You”, “Disintegrate Slowly”, “Keep on Breathing”, “Come Closer”, “I Could Be Anything”, “Interbeing”, “How Could This Be Wrong”, “Go Light”, “How Do I Get to Invincible”, and “Way Out is In”. The sense of the heroic adventure is right on the money as one listens to the album. Thus also the reason for my singling out “Interbeing”.
The concept of inter-being is the theme for the album, both as a state of being (I am being interiorly) and as self identifier (I am a being that exists interiorly). The song “Interbeing” is devoid of any vocals, opening to an almost electronic, circus-like dreaminess. It then introduces strings with an Asian essence, followed by an electronic drop that encourages a sense of floating or gentle flying. We then begin to trail off while familiar beats persist, ending with the Asian strings bringing us back to the ground. Here is where the song ends.
The meditativeness of the song can’t be escaped. It’s like a forced daydream. The other songs do similar things, cinematically forcing you into them; you’ve paid the ticket, now the director is in control. And I didn’t mind at the hands of such adept musicians. Where lyrics are concerned, in the few songs they show up, the meanings are obscure and serve only the beats. Is there meaning in the words? I’m sure there is, to someone, but that meaning is earned through synchronicity with vibrating bass, not secular ideals.
For any fans of the genre, or those looking for adventure, I’d recommend Seeing Without Eyes, but discretion is advised; The Glitch Mob produces secular music for large crowds of gyrating college students on E. This is mostly instrumental music, so if it lifts one to God, have at. If it doesn’t, then tell me I’m a hack in the comments section below, on Facebook at Trending Thomas, or on Twitter @trendingthomas. Or, just click the buttons beside this post! Till next time, A CRUCE SALUS, folks.